Past performance does not guarantee future success...
...is a wise piece of advice given to me by my economics lecturer quite a few years ago at University. I ignored it at my peril this year by booking short, nearshore staycations instead of travelling afar, believing that last year's never ending glorious sunshine might just be repeated.
The first trip was cycling the Canal du Midi in Carcassonne; fair to say I might as well have been in the canal such was the rainfall earlier this year. My second trip was a sort of homecoming to Barra in the Outer Hebrides where I have a family home. Bright and breezy was the order of the week; but certainly no requirement to fire up the barbecue. Whilst there I took a chartered boat journey to Mingulay, a beautiful island to the south of Barra and uninhabited since the last residents left in 1912. I had discovered that my great great great grandmother lived there on this tiny island until she left for Barra in 1826 to get married. As I stood at the top of the hill at the north tip of the island, Barra loomed in the distance like a metropolis; instead a small island circling 13 miles. My ancestor would of course have had a very different perspective; the lure of a new love, shops and a much bigger community.
Changing perspectives are an important part of holidays, whether it's viewing land from the sky in a plane, or just having time to see things in a different light. Making this a habit in a busy workplace can be difficult, especially in always on customer service operations where demand invariably outstrips supply and there is little chance for contemplation.
In my discussions with organisations in the CCA network, I am convinced that those who are winning, are those who remain open to challenging the status quo around how they're performing, refusing to believe their own publicity, instead adjusting the lens to ensure that they adapt their customer service, from the perspective of the many rather than the few.
Speaking to a board of one of our members organisations we discussed how strategy used to be something "too far away to touch feel or see" whereas now it requires "real-time action and agility to turn 360 degrees on a 5p piece".
In this environment looking outwards is essential to keep a healthy perspective on what the purpose of an organisation is. At CCA we have witnessed a huge interest in sharing experiences, with demand for special interest groups on digital transformation and talent management increasing steadily.
The new CCA Global Standard challenges organisations to test the strength of internal relationships so that customers get enterprise wide attention. CCA Inspire takes place on 24th November to showcase those organisations who refuse to accept mediocrity and continue to Raise the Bar so wherever you end up on holiday this year I hope you get a glimpse of something different and inspiring - who knows where you might end up by looking at things afresh with an open mind.
Finally my last staycation is a week in the Cairngorms week after next, surely 3rd time lucky!